This Week in Data – 23 August

This week in data – 23 August: Each week, we compile the best stories in data. Get up to speed on this week in data without having to search for it.


This Australian controls satellite data to fight abuse

Nathan Ruser is a 22 year Australian with a superpower – he has access to satellites that he uses to disrupt and stop human rights abuses. He works at the Cyber Policy Centre at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute. You may have heard of him when he revealed the exercise app Strava could identify sensitive data around US military bases (we talked about it last year). Now, Nathan spends his time trying to stop cultural disruption and even genocide.

We spend so much of our time thinking about how open data sources could be abused – it’s nice to read a story of the other side. 


“Mostly I like to use the unbiased and unrestricted nature of satellites to reveal a lot of the human rights abuses that are happening, where governments and other actors look to restrict information and cover up the truth.”


Facebook now lets you control ad sharing data

This is pretty cool. Facebook has just unveiled some new tools that allow users to remove data from third-party apps. This means Facebook can’t get their hands on it. Given all the scrutiny currently aimed at the company, this seems like a good choice. Perhaps it’ll serve as an example for others.


“Facebook says it worked with privacy experts to develop this feature — and behind the scenes, it had to change the way it stores this data to make it viewable and controllable by users.”


Google stops sharing user data with carriers

Probably a good look, too. The giant has stopped sharing information with carriers that help them plan data services. But as The Verge explains, privacy isn’t the only issue here. Google has had some issues with maintaining the quality of the information, and apparently carriers were taking too long to do anything with the information in the first place. 

Still. With so many Silicon Valley giants under scrutiny, it’s good timing.


“Google is not the only company to share coverage data with carriers. Facebook’s “Actionable Insights” service, which it launched this time last year, shares similar connectivity data with around 100 different carriers in 50 countries around the world.”


The one reason why we should share mobility data

All the scooters, bikes, carsharing and other transport services on the road has created a huge amount of data. Valuable data. McKinsey says data from personal vehicles will be worth up to $750 billion worldwide by 2030…problem is, it’s locked away. Forbes argues for unleashing it – the only problem is, we haven’t figured out a good way to do so.

So, this piece suggests some. Setting standards, collecting data, and sharing it securely is a good start. We agree! 


“How much data is really needed by local governments? Patchwork demands—or even worse, blanket demands—for data trigger alarms for companies. Just as companies have to work with each other to establish common data standards, public officials need to work with companies and each other to establish common data-collection requirements that minimize compliance burdens.”


The United States is leading with AI, but China’s close

…and catching up, too. According to a new report from the Center for Data Innovation, while the United States is undoubtedly the leader when it comes to AI. The report measures nations on six fronts: talent, research, development, adoption, data, and hardware. The US leads in four, while China leads with adoption and data. 

The bad news is for the EU, though. The report warns it’s at risk of falling well behind the rest of the world.


“The EU has the talent to compete with China and the United States in AI, but there is a clear disconnect between the amount of AI talent and its development and adoption.”


That’s our wrap for this week. Thanks for reading – we hope you found it entertaining and informational. We’d love to hear your thoughts on these articles and anything else data related! Email us anytime at!

Until next week,

Team Data Republic

Request a demo

Fill out the form and a member of the Data Republic
team will get in touch to arrange a demo.

Get started with Data Republic

Fill out the form and a member of the Data Republic
team will get in touch to talk to you about your data project